Have you ever wondered where the stone used to restore and repair Gloucester Cathedral comes from? Would you like to know more about the tools and techniques used by stonemasons to blend old and new? Over the next three weeks, Gloucester Cathedral is promoting four exciting new events exploring the how the building was made and the work of the extraordinary stonemasons who have maintained it for generations.
‘Living Stones’ opens on Saturday 25 August in the magnificent South Tribune gallery at Gloucester Cathedral. This free exhibition documents the journey of a stone from quarry to cathedral, whilst showcasing key pieces from the Cathedral’s archaeological stonemasonry collection. Many items have never been displayed before, including contemporary maquettes and extraordinary examples of setting out by the current stonemason’s team. The opening day also includes a free clay gargoyle making workshop from 11.00am-3.00pm.
The opening weekend of the exhibition coincides with the Gloucester Stone Carving Festival being held at Llanthony Secunda Priory. This event showcases and celebrates the skills of stonemasons, providing an opportunity for people to see live carving by master craftspeople. The festival will also offer the first chance to look inside the newly restored Farmhouse.
Gloucester History Festival offers the final two opportunities to learn more about Gloucester Cathedral’s Stonemasons. On Monday 10 September between 1.00-3.00pm visitors can enjoy a free Meet the Masons demonstration on the Cathedral Green and on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 September (between 10.00-12.00pm and 1.00-3.00pm) the stonemasons yard will open for guided tours giving rare, behind-the-scenes access to a traditional workshop. Places are limited so booking early is advised.
Master Mason, Pascal Mychalysin, has trained over forty masons during his time at the Cathedral and as a master carver, is responsible for some of the intricate carving for which the Cathedral is famous. Pascal said:
“Since 1089, generations of stonemasons have worked tirelessly to build, conserve and restore various parts of the Cathedral. This important heritage skill has been a constant throughout the Cathedral’s history, which continues today and will remain in the future. We are incredibly fortunate to be one of only a handful of English cathedrals to have our own in-house team of talented masons to support the maintenance of the building which is why it remains in such wonderful condition. We are always eager to share our skills with people and are looking forward to this exciting series of events.”
For more press information please contact:
Helen Jeffrey, Community Engagement Manager
Llanthony Secunda Priory Trust – Stone Carving Festival
Emma Davies, Heritage Manager
Gloucester History Festival